Department of Defense honors IST senior with SMART scholarship

June 28, 2017

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Luke Gleba is on the fast track to graduation, and because of his hard work and dedication, he’s about to get some help from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).

Gleba, a third-year senior majoring in security and risk analysis (SRA) with a focus in information and cybersecurity, was recently awarded the DoD’s Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship for Service. The SMART scholarship is offered by the DoD to support undergraduate and graduate students pursuing degrees in STEM disciplines, and aims to increase the number of civilian scientists and engineers working in DoD laboratories.

A commitment to academic achievement, coupled with a genuine interest in wanting to help service men and women, was what gave Gleba an edge over the thousands of student applicants they get every year.

“I knew I had a good shot because I had high academic marks,” said the research assistant and member of the College of Information Sciences and Technology's (IST) Competitive Cyber Security Organization. “But I also knew that the DoD values academic integrity; they look for students who seek out learning opportunities outside the classroom — you have to be learning all the time because you want to, not because you have to.” 

The scholarship, one of only 250 awarded each year nationwide, will cover Gleba’s tuition and fees for one year, plus a generous stipend, mentoring, and employment placement after graduation. In exchange, Gleba will complete one year of post-graduation employment as a DoD civilian.

After graduation, Gleba has a position lined up in the Software Assurance — Intelligence and Electronic Warfare and Sensors Department within the U.S. Army Communication Electronic Command (CECOM), located at Aberdeen Proving Ground facility in Maryland.

“There’s a lot of really cool cutting-edge technology happening there,” he said. “They’re doing work that can save soldiers’ lives on the battlefield.”  

Helping to keep military personnel safe on the battlefield is a calling that hits close to home for Gleba, whose brother is an active member of the U.S. military.

“This is an incredible opportunity to work in a research facility and help develop new forms of technology,” he said. “And because my brother is also in the military and I know the sacrifices he has to make, any way I can help him and his fellow service members means a lot to me.”

Last Updated July 06, 2017